Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Recruit Over 250 Armed Forces Members for "Special" Wedding Role

Over 250 members of the Armed Forces will take part in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day

By Elyse Dupre Mar 28, 2018 2:37 PMTags
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Armed Forces Personnel Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have asked more than 250 Armed Forces members to play a "special role" in their wedding.

According to the Ministry of Defence (MOD), units with a "special connection" to the prince will provide ceremonial support during the wedding and carriage procession. For instance, members of the Household Cavalry will form a staircase party at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle—the couple's wedding venue. The State Trumpeters and a Captain's Escort from the Household Calvary will also provide support during the ceremony.

In addition, members of the Windsor Castle Guard from 1st Battalion Irish Guards will line the streets within the precincts of Windsor Castle. Servicemen and women of the Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving Unit, Royal Marines, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, Royal Gurkha Rifles and RAF Honington will perform this role, as well. Plus, the Band of the Irish Guards will provide musical support to the street liners.

"Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are pleased that members of the Armed Forces will play such a special role in their Wedding," a Kensington Palace spokesperson said. "The Military, and these units in particular, hold a great significance for Prince Harry and the couple are incredibly grateful for their support."

It shouldn't come as a big surprise that Harry and Meghan would want to include members of the Armed Forces in their big day, especially given Harry's military background. The royal is currently Captain General of the Royal Marines—a position he took over from Prince Philip—and is Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Navy's Small Ships and Diving unit. He's also an Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington.

According to the MOD, Harry joined The Blues and Royals in April 2016. He also served with the Household Cavalry Regiment and served two tours in Afghanistan. During these tours, Harry served as an Apache Pilot with the 3 Regiment Army Air Corps and served with the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles. He also rose to the rank of Captain.

"I am proud that members of the Armed Forces have been asked to take part in the ceremonial celebrations taking place on the royal couple's wedding day," Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, chief of the Defence staff, said. "It is a happy occasion for the whole country and reminds us of the role the Armed Forces play in marking important events in the life of the nation." 

He also said that the "servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force will all be honored to offer their support."

Harry has spoken highly of his time in the military before.

"The military was the university of life. Afghanistan was the experience of your life," he said during the special Prince Harry: My Journey on Forces TV. "I've never met anyone now who can't speak positively of their time in the military. Of course we had bad days but the good days far outweigh that."